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Citizens have right to know: Police tell HC on Pinjra Tod’s gag plea

The police said that both Natasha and Devangana were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi.

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Devangana and Natasha

New Delhi, July 7 : The Delhi Police has filed a status report in response to a petition filed by Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita, seeking the courts direction to the Delhi Police to not leak any allegations to the media pertaining to the petitioner, pending investigation and thereafter during trial.

The Delhi Police in its response filed through Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan has stated the reason behind the sharing of the “brief note” by the investigators to the media.

“ethe brief note dated 02.06.2020, is required to be seen in this context which was in furtherance of the right of the citizen to know about the affairs of the society and the right of the journalist to ensure an informed society,” the police said.

It also states that it was Devangana who herself has been guilty of frustrating a fair trial and impeding the ongoing investigation against her by starting a media campaign to gain sympathy and generate public opinion.

Kalita, who is currently in judicial custody in the Tihar Jail in a case relating to Delhi riots had earlier approached the high court seeking court”s direction to the Delhi Police to not leak anyinformation.

Following this plea, the high court had passed interim order restraining the Delhi Police from circulating information, including to the media or on social media platforms.

The investigators have now informed the court that it became necessary and compelling for them to inform the public at large that the narrative peddled by the ”Pinjra Tod” and its affiliate groups that a particular community and its supporters, including the Kalita, were being victimized, maliciously prosecuted and oppressed by state machinery.

The Delhi Police in its response also slammed Devangana’s claims that the police made an attempt to have a media trial against her saying it was “completely misconceived, concocted and false.”

“The evidence in this regard is to the contrary and manifests that the petitioner (Devangana) herself initiated media campaign/ trial against the investigating agency to discredit it and impede the ongoing investigations on the ground of victimization, state sponsored malicious prosecution etc,” the police response read.

The police further told the court that the record manifest that the members of Pinjra Tod group through their social media account have been fervently and incessantly trying to present Kalita and other accused persons as victims of malicious prosecution by spreading misleading and false information about the action taken by the Investigating Agency against them.

“Social media in the present day has become one of the most powerful tool for dissemination of information both true and false,” the police said

“The petitioner and her group have a huge Social media presence through which they have been vociferously trying to impede the ongoing investigation against,” it added.

The police has also stated in its affidavit that Kalita and her group had taken recourse to circulating detailed messages about her arrest etc. and started a media campaign in her favour.

“In this regard concerted and well-orchestrated efforts were continuously made by the members of Pinjra Tod Group and its associate and affiliate groups to gain sympathy and influence and swing public opinion in favour of the present petitioner as well as other activists of Pinjra Tod Group arrested by Delhi Police in connection with North East riots,” the document read.

On June 11, the High Court restrained the Delhi Police from circulating information. “ethe respondent is restrained from issuing any such statements or circulating information regarding allegations and evidence allegedly collected against the petitioner or other accused, to any person, including to the media or on social media platforms,” a single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Vibhu Bakhru had said.

Initially, Devangana was nabbed for Jafrabad violence case, north-east violence case and then for Daryaganj violence case. However, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against her and co-accused Natasha in Jafrabad violence case on June 2.

The police said that both Natasha and Devangana were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi.

“They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the ”India Against Hate” group and Umar Khalid. The message, found in the phone of an accused, on WhatsApp chat, reveals the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for causing riots,” the statement by the police added.

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Delhi High Court may resume physical courts from Sept 1, if Covid situation improves

The Delhi High Court has decided to continue with restricted functioning till August 31, in the backdrop of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. However, if the situation improves, a plan would be evolved for gradual opening of physical courts beginning September 1.

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New Delhi: The High Court’s administrative and general supervision committee said that in view of the spread of the coronavirus in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, it has been decided to extend the suspended functioning of the court till August 31. “All the Benches of this Court would continue to take up and hear all the urgent matters through video conferencing. The Courts of Registrars and Joint Registrars of this Court shall take up the matters through video conferencing, where the files are already scanned. The evidence be recorded in ex-parte and uncontested matters where the same is required to be tendered by way of affidavit”, said an office order.

However, the High Court has said that subject to complete availability of public transport and subject to the situation in Delhi remaining stable, a plan would be evolved for gradual opening of physical courts from September 1 onwards.

“To begin with, on experimental basis, around one-fourth of the courts can resume physical functioning on a rotational basis while the rest can continue taking up matters through video conferencing. A comprehensive plan on the above lines will be prepared by the undersigned and placed before the “Committee for Preparation of Graded Action Plan” and thereafter before the Full Court for consideration”, said the office order.

The order said “it has also been ordered that the Courts of Registrars and Joint Registrars of this Court shall not pass any adverse order in non-urgent/routine matters where the concerned advocate/litigant is unable to join the proceedings through video conferencing, till the time the physical functioning of the courts is resumed.”

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India

Indian Government Afraid To Face Chinese Intentions In Ladakh: Rahul Gandhi

He also said lack of courage and the media’s silence will result in India paying a “huge price”.

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Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has once again criticised the government on the Ladakh situation today, and claimed that the country will have to pay a “huge price”.

In a tweet, he said, “The government of India (GOI) is scared to face up to Chinese intentions in Ladakh. Evidence on the ground indicates that China is preparing and positioning itself,” but did not elaborate.

He also said lack of courage and the media’s silence will result in India paying a “huge price”.

Rahul Gandhi has been criticising the government and the prime minister on the border situation in Ladakh.

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India

Priyanka Gandhi lauds soldiers, healthcare workers, farmers on Independence Day

The Congress leader, taking to Twitter, remembered the struggle for independence and said that people have to continue fighting for their freedom.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday lauded the soldiers, healthcare workers, farmers and labourers across the country on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day.

The Congress leader, taking to Twitter, remembered the struggle for independence and said that people have to continue fighting for their freedom.

“India got independence after a long struggle in which people laid down their lives. Crores of Indians fought together for the truth and won. We have to protect our freedom by putting our lives at stake. On this occasion of Independence Day, salute to the soldiers, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, farmers and labourers,” her tweet read.

Her remarks applauding the healthcare and sanitation workers comes in the light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic wherein they are risking their lives while battling with the deadly virus each day. Over 25 lakh COVID-19 cases have been recorded across the country so far.

This year, the Independence Day celebrations have been toned down due to the COVID-19 pandemic as arrangements are made keeping social distancing norms in mind.

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